The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up and the snow is starting to disappear from the yard. You guessed it, spring has arrived in New England. Now, all we can think about is putting another long winter behind us and getting back into warm weather activities. With hiking, biking, and watersport activities quickly moving to the forefront of our focus its easy to forget about springs best outdoor activity. SPRING SKIING/ SNOWBOARDING!
I have been guilty of putting away my snowboard too soon on so many occasions. I always say I’m going to keep riding until the snow is gone. But, I get distracted by day drinking dates, trips into the city, and early season hiking. Before I know it if I’ve let go of the seasons last opportunities for some amazing play time in the snow. As well as some of the season’s BEST ski days.
This year I decided I’m going to do spring skiing right. I spent 2017’s first day of spring riding at Mount Snow in Vermont and what a kickoff to Spring it was. Temperatures hit 50 degrees, the crowds were small, and conditions were great. Also, we had sunlight for the whole 3 hour ride home which is a plus.
With a day like that I decided I have to write a post about the wonders of spring ski time and why we shouldn’t put away the snow gear just yet. Here’s what I came up with.
Spring Skiing Weather
First off, It’s not that cold! If it’s a perfect spring ski day it’s actually pretty warm. Instead of running back to the lodge to add another layer your stopping in to shed some gear. And, the closer to naked you can get when doing just about anything… the better. Who likes feeling like the Michelin man when they’re trying to tear up the mountain. Not me.
Also, when you stop at the lodge to grab a beverage there’s no need to cuddle up inside. If it’s warm enough you’ll want to get right out onto the deck and into an Adirondack chair to soak up some of that sunshine. This is a great time to work on that goggle tan.
After Day Light Savings you are going to get longer days! Now most of the resorts are still going to shut down the lifts at four, but, you won’t be fighting the late afternoon shadows covering your favorite trails. Anyone who stays out until the end of the day in the dead of winter knows how the changing light conditions can make those last few runs pretty sketchy. Especially, if you’re tired. No need to worry now with all of that extra sunlight.
Also, Amanda and I tend to drive home right after a day of skiing. In mid winter we’re usually driving home in complete darkness which is never fun. But in the spring, we get those few extra hours of daylight to get home, which, basically means drinking less Red Bulls to get us through those long drives.
Now, if you’re staying over for the night grab your bathing suit and get into the outdoor hot tub and heated pool. This is important: Always stay somewhere with outdoor heated pools and hot tubs. It usually costs a little more but is well worth it after a long day of skiing.
New England is well known for its icy and often hostile skiing conditions. With warm weather comes softer snow and less ice luging. It definitely makes for a different kind of challenge especially when the snow is so soft that it turns to mashed potatoes. But, like most of you, I’d take a pile of mashed potatoes over ice skating any day. And it makes for a way better leg work out. Bikini season here we come!
This may be the biggest benefit to spring skiing in my opinion. Personally, I can’t stand trying to ride when there’s a ton of people at the resorts. In fact, if it’s a busy holiday week or weekend I usually don’t even bother going.
During the spring the closer you get to the close date of the mountains the less people you have to deal with. And, if you’re a weirdo like me and love having midweek days off then you will find that the lifts lines are almost non-existent. You’ll feel like you have the mountain to yourself! Keep in mind, more space on the trails also means more seats at the bar.
Cheaper Tickets/ Lodging
With the dwindling crowds also comes dwindling lift ticket and hotel price tags. This is HUGE for most people as the extremely high cost of skiing/ riding often deters people from getting out as much as they would like to.
After the last big holiday week you can often find excellent deals on lift tickets and hotels. The ticket windows at the mountains usually take the longest to drop their prices so check out discount websites like https://www.liftopia.com for awesome deals. This is something you should also check out throughout the season even at high times. If you’re paying full price for a lift ticket ever, you’re doing it wrong.
A ton of the big resorts will end their seasons with a BIG party. A lot of these come in the forms of concert weekends. Some other cool stuff going on would be fun spring skiing events like 80’s day, pond skimming, and various forms of races (not necessarily on skis).
For some of the world’s best spring ski festivals check out http://xgames.espn.com/xgames/gallery/9126219/image/1/12-best-spring-festivals-ski-areas
Sugarloaf’s Raggae Fest is mentioned in a lot of articles I’ve read about popular ski parties. For more info on the Loaf’s Raggae Festival check out http://sugarloaf.com/activities-and-nightlife/events. Way to represent the East Coast Sugarloaf!
Bring Your Friends!
Spring is an awesome time to get your buddy who has never skied before out for their first day. He/ she will get cheaper tickets and get to learn in a more forgiving environment. There will be less people on the slopes to crash into. And, they won’t be immediately turned off by some of the things us seasoned skiers and riders put up with on a regular basis. You know, big crowds, freezing bitter temperatures and high mid season prices.
What more do I need to say? Grab your stuff and get out there! And if you want the ultimate spring skiing adventure head up to Mount Washington’s infamous Tuckerman’s Ravine for some backcountry fun. More on that to come!